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Telegraph, The (Newspaper) - September 21, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 IKLKORAPII 61 home runs after 150 games The outlook Partly cloudy and cool high near 62 low near 39 PageD6 Indian hours Grata shop specializes in handmade jewelery and art Vol 164 No 249 50 cents Tuesday September Forgery victim helps crack case By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE A couple who allegedly went on a checkforging spree at the expense of account hold ers across the state is in jail today thanks to one Alton victim who played detective to find them Authorities in several jurisdictions were looking for Amy C Meeks 21 and Chad A Landrum 27 before vic tim Marie Berkley caught up to them Thursday in Glen Carbon Amateur detective cashes in alleged crooks The story began in May when Charleston police were alerted to a series of bad checks allegedly being written by Meeks and Landrum who are described as girlfriendboyfriend Meeks is from Mount Vernon Landrum is from Paris 111 Basically what they had done was obtain a savings account book from a former roommate and had gotten hold of a checking account from another former said Gordon Henderson a detective with the Charleston Police The couple would make a deposit on the savings account using a forged check from the other account then go back a few days later and with draw the cash from the savings account he said The couple had got ten hold of a box of blank checks that arrived in the mail for one roommate after the roommate had moved out Henderson said Two Coles County banks notified police but by then the couple was already gone from the area Henderson said The period between May and the present is less clear although there are signs that the couple continued writing bad checks using the same kind of procedure they allegedly engi neered in Charleston There were multiple deceptive practices war rants out for their arrest in Coles Washington and Jefferson counties Berkley became familiar with them this month the hard way I went to Union Planters Bank in Wood River to do some business and they told me my accounts had been I See FORGERY Page A7 Repairs begin The M BARNES Harold Brown of Edwardsville uses a jackhammer Monday as repairs to the railroad overpass on New Poag Road begins just east of Wanda Road Traffic will be detoured off of New Poag Road onto Wanda Road until the project is finished in early October Keller Construction Inc of Glen Carbon is heading the project Man pleads guilty to seconddegree murder of brother By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE An Alton man who killed his brother then found strong support from his griefstricken family pleaded guilty Monday in the slay ing Quanotho Kyles 25 of the 300 block of Dry Street entered a guilty plea in Madison County Circuit Court to second degree mur Kyles der reduced from the original charge of firstdegree murder Because of his prior crimi nal history he cannot get pro bation Assistant Public Defender Neil Hawkins said Although legally he could get up to 40 years under extended sentencing laws the judge has bound himself to not go beyond 20 years Hawkins said Meanwhile Assistant States Attorney Don Weber said he would be recommend ing a pretty stiff Pierre D Kyles 22 was killed Dec 17 by a single gun shot would to the upper left chest during a family gather ing in the 600 block of Spring Street at the home of a third brother Jose Kyles had a gun and his brother had a baseballbat and they were advancing on each Weber said But the shooting actually took place outside and no one saw Kyles plea is based on the fact that even though he believes the shooting was jus tifiable the law believes it was unreasonable Weber said Shortly after Kyles arrest family members contacted authorities to plead with them to reduce or drop the charges I had a petition from all the family saying they didnt want him to go to Weber said He has to get at least four years in See MURDER Page A7 Work on 155 rest stops moving along By DEBORAH L BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE A million project to construct a pair of rest stops on Interstate 55 should be complete in November the Illinois Department of Transportation says Its coming along better than we thought it was going said Bernie Fahey pro ject implementation engineer for IDOT Were shooting for prior tQ IDOT started paving the ground for the rest stops which are located on each side of 155 about miles north of the Illinois Route 143 exit in January 1994 There was a delay for a couple of years while IDOT waited to acquire more funding The project is currently priced at but final figures wont be known until after the entire project is com plete The project is funded with federal and state high REST Page A7 Good Morning Bulletin Board Editorial Beasley Burch Conlin Forbes Gloss Hill Johnson Krotz Langel Mason Norrls Stolze Valenti Wiedman Mercantile now deposited in Firstar By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer The bank signs and state ments wont change until March but Mercantile Bank officially became part of Firstar Corporation on Monday Known to area residents as a familiar longstanding financial institution Mercantile banks abound in the River Bend Mercantile public affairs vice president Beth Pagan said the change in ownership and ultimately the change in name brings with it nothing but good news for local Mercantile cus tomers The exciting news for Altonarea customers is that well now be able to offer some new kinds of accounts along with expanded hours of operation at our said Fagan The people who have been serving customers in this community for years will continue to be familiar faces to their River Bend cus tomers The name change will not bring any change in the faces our customers are See FIRSTAR Page A7 The M BARNES Willie Jenkins of Alton leaves the Mercantile Bank on Washington in Upper Alton Monday after conducting business Mercantile Bank officially became a part of the Firstar Corporation on 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